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Sharp Increase in Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes in US in 2016

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Leading Muslim advocacy group CAIR records 260 anti-Muslim hate crimes and 2,213 anti-Muslim bias incidents in 2016

Anti-Muslim hate incidents rose over 40 percent in 2016 compared with 2015, a leading Muslim advocacy group said on Tuesday.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said it tracked a 44 percent increase in hate crimes targeting Muslims in 2016 compared with 2015, as well as a 57 percent increase in anti-Muslim bias incidents during that time.

In all CAIR recorded 260 anti-Muslim hate crimes, and 2,213 anti-Muslim bias incidents.

"From 2014 to 2016, anti-Muslim bias incidents jumped 65 percent," CAIR, which bills itself as the largest Muslim-advocacy organization in the U.S., said in its 2017 civil rights report.

Sharp increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes in US in 2016
"In that two-year period, CAIR finds that hate crimes targeting Muslims surged 584 percent."

Last year, non-violent or non-threatening harassment was the most prevalent form of abuse, accounting for some 18 percent of total incidents, it said.

The second largest category was of complainants questioned by FBI employees "or otherwise appeared to be inappropriately targeted by the agency", CAIR added. The bureau made up the largest federal agency involved in such incidents, the group said.

"Of the 2016 incidents for which federal government entities were identified as the instigator: the FBI accounted for 62 percent," CAIR said.

According to their data, the Transportation Security Administration accounted for 15 percent of cases involving federal agencies, followed by Customs and Border Protection at 12 percent, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at four percent, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement accounted at two percent.

CAIR official Corey Saylor called on the Trump administration "to seriously address the growing anti-minority sentiment in our nation".

CAIR's findings appear to fit into more comprehensive studies of hate incidents tracked by other rights groups.

The Southern Poverty Law Center said earlier this year that it found "a dramatic jump in hate violence and incidents of harassment and intimidation around the country" in the wake of President Donald Trump's Nov. 8 electoral win.

In all, it tracked 1,094 "bias incidents" in the 34 days after Trump won, which were dominated by anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim incidents.

The director of CAIR's Islamophobia tracking department, Corey Saylor, told Anadolu Agency that in the week after Trump's victory the group received 111 calls reporting anti-Muslim incidents. CAIR normally receives just 30 such calls per week, Saylor said.

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